Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Trinidad and Tobago sports minister Anil Roberts has requested the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to reconsider their decision to leave spinner Sunil Narine out of the Test squad for the national team’s upcoming Test series against New Zealand.
The WICB left Narine out of the squad after he chose to represent the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) final instead of participating in the West Indies’ pre-series training camp.
“I put it to you today that allowing Sunil Narine to participate in the final of the IPL on June 1 as a West Indian, as a “Trinbagonian”, as an ambassador of Caribbean brilliance and then ensuring that he arrives at the West Indian training camp post haste does not, will not, and cannot breach any of the tenets of your “country first policy”,” Roberts wrote in his letter to WICB President Dave Cameron. “In fact, this addendum to the policy which may serve Sunil Narine today, will serve Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Lendl Simmons, Krishmar Santokie and any other great West Indies Cricketers in the future.
“Mr. Narine is not on holiday with his family, he is not shopping, and he is not viewing the NBA Playoffs. He is plying his professional trade in what stands as the epitome of international quality cricket in the world today.
“He is plying that trade not for himself but for the people of the Caribbean who will turn on their TV sets and tune in with 1.3 billion people across the globe to support the West Indian Sunil Narine.”
Roberts also noted that playing in the IPL final was the best way for Narine to prepare for the Test series against New Zealand, which gets underway on June 8 in Jamaica.
“Therefore, for us to ask any player to forego the opportunity to grasp greatness to attend the first few days of a training camp is itself in breach of the very policy that it is designed to uphold, for there can be no greater preparation or training, than plying your trade at peak adrenalin, peak emotional levels, peak risk factors, peak psychological levels,” Roberts wrote. “He will face peak global scrutiny against the peak global performers in a final to be crowned the best in the world. Sunil Narine, on 1st June, will be at his peak performance level.
“So on the contrary, Mr. Sunil Narine, by clawing and fighting his way into the final is in fact ahead of the curve as compared to his other West Indies team mates in terms of preparation for the upcoming home series.”
Roberts added that dropping Narine for the Test series would hinder the national team’s chances of beating New Zealand.
“Dear Sir, our beloved West Indies team…has been unable over the past decade to take twenty wickets in five days on a consistent basis. This in essence is what is needed to win a Test match,” Roberts wrote. “To achieve this, a globally respected strike bowler is required. Sunil Narine fits this bill to a “T” and is now arguably the number one bowler in the world. He is also still regarded as a mystery spinner, who the best in the world have been unable to figure out, even in this age of modern technology and systematic analysis.
“The inclusion of Sunil Narine increases the chances of the West Indies team taking 20 wickets in five days to win a Test match.”